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Empire State Development: BeauVine Vineyards to expand, increase production


Mon, May 16th 2016 09:10 pm

A $370,000 ESD grant is provided to support the vineyard's harvesting project and help grow New York's leading agriculture sector

Empire State Development today announced BeauVine Vineyards LLC, a family-owned business in Niagara County, will expand its operation by adding a grape-processing building and additional acreage resulting in an increase in the amount of grapes grown for wine production in New York. By making significant upgrades to its operations, BeauVine Vineyards, located on Town Line Road in Lockport, will increase both the output and quality of its grapes.

Infrastructure improvements to the vineyard, increased acreage planted, construction and purchase of equipment comprise the $1.3-million project, which will support agriculture in a way that promotes business growth and will help local wineries capitalize on wine-centric tourism and sales of fine wines. The expansion will also facilitate an increase in the number of acres of grapes successfully harvested, an increase in the quality of the wine produced, and an increase in sales - not only at BeauVine Vineyards, but at wineries throughout Niagara County.

Earlier today, BeauVine broke ground for a new building where its grapes will be processed. The new facility for the crushing and pressing of the grapes represents part of the 80 percent investment BeauVine Vineyards is putting into the project.

Robin Ross, owner BeauVine Vineyards, said, "It is an exciting time for our vineyard. New plantings are underway and more are planned over the next few years to meet the demand for grapes at local winery businesses as customers are drinking more expensive and higher-quality wines. We thank Gov. Cuomo for his support of this project and his recognition of the important role the wine industry plays in the agriculture and tourism sectors."

New York state, through Empire State Development, is supporting the vineyard's improvements project by providing a $370,000 ESD grant for the purchase of harvesting equipment. The vineyard expansion was a 2015 Priority Project of the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council. As a result of the award, there is expected to be a measurable increase in the annual tonnage of grapes harvested, an increase in the quality of grapes, an increase in overall sales and a reportable number of other Niagara County vineyards sharing the equipment to increase their harvest.

Howard Zemsky, President, CEO and commissioner of ESD, said, "Time is of the essence in the wine business and this new equipment will help the vintner harvest their grapes when weather conditions and maturation of grapes is ideal. The leasing of the equipment to other vineyards will allow the entire region to capitalize on grape production and related wine tourism, which is a priority of the governor."

BeauVine is part of the Niagara Wine Trail, which includes nearly two-dozen wineries and was expanded by Cuomo to cross Niagara, Orleans and Monroe counties. Each winery on the trail offers a diverse selection of traditional vinifera-style, native, late harvest and ice wines, as well as unique styles such as award-winning fruit wines, meads and ciders. This region has been recognized by prominent wine publications as producing the best pinot noir, cabernet, ice wine and Syrah New York has to offer, along with top scores by wine critics and international wine competitions.

State Sen. Rob Ortt said, "Farmers are the backbone of our communities and our economies, and they are so vital to growing the future of agriculture - both regionally and statewide. Niagara County is home to some of the most well-known and exquisite wineries, so any sort of operations expansion to improve crop quality and facilitate the harvesting process will only help to grow our agriculture and tourism industries. The new equipment will bring increased production and serve as an excellent opportunity to support our local farmers and help Niagara County thrive."

Assemblyman John Ceretto said, "Supporting local farmers is essential for the agriculture sector and our entire economy. New York's wine industry is thriving and our local vineyards in Western New York play a pivotal role in that. Agriculture grants such as this can help promote the success and development of the Niagara Wine Trail and also support small businesses across our region."

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